After spending three years largely ignoring the border, the mainstream press is suddenly all over it, with headlines blaring about a “surge,” “crisis” and “call for action.” Why now?
Last week CNN reported that a “December migrant surge” at the southern border was the “largest in more than two decades.” Several other news outlets used similar language. The New York Times warned that “surging” Mexico border crossings “push U.S. resources to the brink.” In another story, CNN even described the situation as a “crisis.”
Weirdly, the press is even exaggerating the current “surge.” Consider that CNN story, which says:
“Border authorities encountered more than 225,000 migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border this month, marking the highest monthly total recorded since 2000, according to preliminary Homeland Security statistics shared with CNN.”
Except that’s not true. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, illegal crossings exceeded 225,000 in August, September, October, and November of this year, and in six previous months since President Joe Biden took office.
As a matter of fact, illegal crossings have averaged more than 200,000 since Biden moved into the White House.
Also weird is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security is leaking these numbers for maximum effect, given that Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has spent the past three years insisting that the “border is secure.”
Weirder still is the fact that the last time the corporate media took an interest in the border was when there was a mid-year dip in the number of “encounters,” which led them to declare that new Biden policies were “working as intended.”
The Washington Post, for example, ran a story in July titled “Southern border ‘eerily quiet’ after policy shift on asylum seekers.”
So again, we ask, why now? This is a crisis that began the moment Biden took the keys to the White House.
The Financial Times – in an article headlined “Surge in border crossings creates political upheaval in the U.S.” – offers a clue. It notes that “the migration issue is gaining salience among Democrat voters” and quotes Houston immigration lawyer Charles Foster saying: “It’s gotten to the point that the vast majority of Republicans and a growing percentage of Democrats agree with this concept that the border is wide open now.”
A December Wall Street Journal poll finds that Biden trails Trump by 30 points on voter confidence in securing the border.
But that still doesn’t explain why Homeland Security would leak information to the press designed to play up bad news.
Unless there’s something else going on.
It is part of an effort to later claim that Biden took action to address this “surge,” giving the press another opportunity to claim victory on the border?
Or is it that elites in the Democratic party – looking at Biden’s cratering poll numbers – have decided that he has to go and that playing up the border crisis could provide additional leverage to force him to step aside?
The fact that the corporate media has finally decided to report on the border crisis is good news. Just don’t mistake it for honest journalism.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board